The Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA) Phase assesses potential solutions for a needed capability in an Initial Capabilities Document (ICD) and to satisfy the phase-specific Entrance Criteria for the next program milestone designated by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA). The MSA phase is critical to program success and achieving materiel readiness because it’s the first opportunity to influence systems supportability and affordability by balancing technology opportunities with operational and sustainment requirements. During this phase, various alternatives are analyzed to select the materiel solution and develop the Technology Development Strategy (TDS) to fill any technology gaps.
The MSA phase also includes identifying and evaluating affordable product support alternatives with their associated requirements to meet the operational requirements and associated risks. Consequently, in describing the desired performance to meet mission requirements, sustainment metrics should be defined in addition to the traditional performance design criteria.
The main task during this phase is to conduct an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). The purpose of an AoA is to evaluate the mission effectiveness, operational suitability, and estimated Life-Cycle Cost (LLC) of alternative solutions to meet a mission capability in an ICD in determining the system concept.
The purpose of the Materiel Solutions Analysis (MSA) Phase is to: (See Milestone Activity Map)
- Assess all potential solutions for a stated need
- Develop a preliminary Acquisition Strategy,
- Develop a Technology Development Strategy (TDS)
- Develop program goals for any needed development of critical enabling technologies
- Conduct an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) leading to selection and approval of a materiel
- Develop a draft Capabilities Development Document (CDD)
- Develop a Systems Engineering Plan (SEP)
- Develop Initial Support and Maintenance Concepts (Life-Cycle Sustainment Plan)
- Develop the Life-Cycle Signature Support Plan (LSSP)
- Understand Research and Development Costs
The MSA Phase is critical for establishing the overarching trade space available to the Program Manager (PM) in subsequent phases. User capabilities are examined against technologies, both mature and immature, to determine feasibility and alternatives to fill user needs. Once the requirements have been identified, a gap analysis should be performed to determine the additional capabilities required to implement the support concept and its drivers within the trade space.
The MSA Phase ends when the AoA has been completed, materiel solution options for the capability need identified in the approved ICD have been recommended by the lead DoD Component conducting the AoA, and the phase-specific Entrance Criteria for the initial review milestone have been satisfied.
The following reviews take place during the MSA Phase:
AcqLinks and References:
- Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) – Chapter 5
- DoD Directive 5000.01 “Defense Acquisition System”
- DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System”
- DoD Integrated Product Support Implementation Roadmap